Tomi Ungerer was born in 1931 in Strasbourg, France. He died in 2019 in Ireland. Internationally recognized for his work in illustration, in a parallel fashion throughout his life, he pursued a sculptural oeuvre, playing with found or commercially available objects in a spirit similar to his drawings.
For over thirty years, both as an artist and as a farmer, he worked with shovels. As a farmer, the shovel served as a direct line of communication with the earth. As an artist, each could be gifted with a new and unique character and transformed into an artwork. Digging into his childhood memories of WWII, with Army of Shovels Tomi Ungerer creates a mobile army made of identical, purchased shovels; the individual subsumed by the mass. Placed in military configuration, they seem to invade the Tuileries.
ARMY OF SHOVELS, 2018
Steel and concrete
100 elements ; 180 x 30 x 30 cm each
Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris
Photo: Marc Domage